More power on the Pacific
Plans to expand the port of Manzanillo, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, and add terminals to the facility have been revealed. The existing container terminals there, including CMSA, are also adding equipment, to benefit from growing transport volumes.
The Mexican port of Manzanillo, on the Pacific coast in the tiny state of Colima, is the official bronze medallist in terms of volumes handled amongst all of the container ports of Latin America – but this is not enough for the gateway. Most of the consumer goods for the central Bajío region as well as for Mexico City pass through the port, which makes it an interesting proposition for Asian importers and exporters.
According to news originally revealed in July the port, which is rather constricted by its environment, will see four new terminals built, most of which will be located in Laguna Cuyutlán. The Mexican government pledged in August to contribute around MXN 9.5 billion (USD 0.5 billion) to the expansion project. More than USD 700 million is expected to be added by public and private investors.
New cranes for Contecon
The work encompasses a container terminal with the capacity to handle 1.75 million teu a year, terminals for agricultural and mineral bulk goods as well as a plant for hydrocarbons. The access channel in the northern port area will also be deepened.
Existing terminals in Manzanillo are also upgrading their facilities, as throughput is increasing in the port. 8.8% more boxes crossed the quays compared with the previous year, to reach 3.08 million teu in 2018. The capacity limit of 3.5 million teu could be reached in 2019.
The hub is run by Contecon Manzanillo SA (CMSA), a subsidiary of the Manila-based Filipino operator International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI). Now it is putting two new port cranes and five RTGs into operation. The former, made by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, are designed for large boxships crossing the Pacific Ocean and can manage 24 rows of boxes.
Five RTGs to improve the terminal’s efficiency for services to and from the hinterland are also being added. The terminal’s overall fleet of equipment will thus grow to include harbour cranes and 21 RTGs. The CMSA, which has handled 4 million teu since it started operations in July, is the only terminal in Manzanillo that still has a little space for expansion.